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Full text of "A few memories"

CARDINAL MANNING CONDEMNS  PLAY-ACTING   m
" its tendency is downward and pernicious." He was not to be moved from his condemnation of the effects of play-acting, and repeatedly congratulated me upon escaping the stage before age and habit had made me a slave to it. Among other things, he said that when those under his direction asked if he forbade them frequenting theatres, his invariable answer was, " I wish I could!" On one point we agreed entirely: that was in censuring the practice of acting plays in schools and convents for young girls. I have seen much harm done to children, dressed and painted and put before an audience of prejudiced relatives, who, applauding their bad acting indiscriminately, make the little creatures, as a rule, painfully vain and self-conscious. Were any real good to be gained by such exhibitions, one could understand more readily their raison d'etre; but as the children derive no benefit from them, and certainly give no real pleasure, these performances seem not only a loss of time, but of that modesty and simplicity so beautiful in the young. I have known half a school, where acting and reciting were taught, pose, roll their r's in a theatrical way, and make such droll contortions as to be painfully ridiculous. Were these girls intended